The Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-19/COVID-19 or whatever you like to call it) has already had an immense impact that has been felt around the world. The latest pandemic to hit Earth has managed to bring the majority of the world to an almost-standstill over the last week or two. Normal everyday people around the world have been asked to self-isolate, self-quarantine, increase their hygiene routines and even work from home, but how has this major pandemic affected e-commerce and how will it continue to have an effect?
E-Commerce is the act of selling goods, whether digital or physical, online. You will undoubtedly be a user of an e-commerce site or platform already, some of the most popular being Amazon, Netflix or Spotify. They have become so ingrained and integral to our lives that we often don’t even realise we’re using an e-commerce platform.
Throughout the next few weeks or months, as more and more of the world’s population is locked down or placed in quarantine, we’re going to continue to see an increase in e-commerce users. This increase in users will mean there is a lot more revenue to be made but also it means that competition is about to get pretty tough. The good news is there are plenty of things you can do to increase the visibility and performance of your site.
Panic Buying in E-Commerce vs Retail
Believe it or not, panic buying isn’t exclusive to brick & mortal retail stores. We have already seen major retailers like Tesco in the UK implement a 3-product limit on all grocery lines, which can help mitigate panic buying. This is something you have to consider if your e-commerce store stocks items which might be panic-bought like Hand Sanitizer, Food or, oddly enough, Toilet Roll.
If you are the owner of an e-commerce store that stocks and sells these supplies, you could find yourself quickly selling out. So, make sure you maintain enough stock to supply the demand.
Increase in E-Commerce Revenue
As more people move to an online shopping experience to maintain their social distancing rules or to comply with government laws, there is going to be an increase in the amount of money being spent online. Luckily, most people are comfortable enough now with the idea of purchasing something online but you may still face some hesitation if your site is relatively new or unknown. At this point, communication is going to be the most important thing for you to focus on and a strong content and branding campaign will help and ensuring your crisis communication strategy is up to date can increase your reputation with consumers.
Physical Goods vs Digital Goods
In light of the recent events with coronavirus, there was a sharp decrease in buying goods from China because there was the belief of infection passing through packaging or long-haul items. This was proven to be false but a solid e-commerce strategy also considers selling digital goods, which can be delivered instantly.
An increasingly popular e-commerce platform are video based classes and tutorials. As more people are forced to work and live in their own homes, there are also more opportunities for virtual classes, video tutorials and classes to be taught via long distance.
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